lunarsystem: (Default)
moon ([personal profile] lunarsystem) wrote in [community profile] rainbowgames2015-08-12 11:49 am
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Question Wednesday #4: Remasters and Remakes

 Hi everyone! Sorry I missed last week--I was on vacation. 

The news that there's going to be a Resident Evil 2 remake has me over the moon right now! RE2 is one of my favorite games, and I think that Resident Evil HD Remastered is a masterpiece, so I'm really thrilled. So, thinking about remasters and remakes: What do you think makes a good remake vs. a poor one? What remakes, if any, have you enjoyed, or not enjoyed at all?

And, as always, what are you playing at the moment?
peppertsuki: A sweet, glitchy green moon. (Default)

[personal profile] peppertsuki 2015-08-12 04:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Ooh, I have thoughts on this. Somewhere in my brain, nestled in between a desire to remake G Gundam with more women and ideas for a second, less awful season of Kill la Kill, is a draft for a rerelease of King's Quest V. That was the one with Cedric, if any of you forgot. It's arguably the worst game on a purely gameplay level, but there's something about it that I still really like, a silly charm that permeates the whole story. Any remake would have to find a way to fix up the actually broken parts while keeping the charm intact, otherwise it's not King's Quest V.

In general, the easiest thing to do with a remaster/remake is just make everything look nicer and keep the gameplay the same. This usually works, especially if you let the more obstinate players switch back to the classic graphics whenever they want. But there is the option of going farther, and trying to make small improvements and sanding down the unpleasant rough bits (while trying to leave in the pleasant rough bits!) At some point, it's possible to go too far and end up with a completely different game that just has the same name as a previous one. Maybe that's not bad, but I feel that it's not ideal.

I'm trying to get myself to play Heroine's Quest for Adventure August!
softchassis: (Default)

[personal profile] softchassis 2015-08-12 04:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Good remakes I think should have faithfulness to the source material while offering modern improvements. For example, La-Mulana is a great remake--basically the same game with a beautiful coat of paint and improvements in areas that really needed it, such as the more non intuitive puzzles becoming much more intuitive.

While it's not *poor* and the base game is still there and plays fine, I think the Cave Story remake isn't very good. While the higher resolution art is nice, it doesn't really offer anything that the original art didn't. I also wasn't much of a fan of the new music. Cave Story 3D has a great remade soundtrack though. I can only really recommend the remake for the Wind Fortress, at the end of the day.

But the *worst* remake I think is the Earthworm Jim HD remake on the last gen of consoles.

Now, personally, I think "Remaster" is a different thing altogether. It's hard to really describe the nitty and gritty, but to me a good example of a remaster would be the recent versions of Sonic CD, Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 on mobile devices. These games' engines were built from the ground up with the sole purpose (more or less, anyway) of being for Sonic games. They offer great features like, in Sonic CD, the ability to switch between the two different soundtracks and spindash styles, and Sonic 2's remaster even has the Hidden Palace level hidden cleverly away in Mystic Cave Zone. But the base game is still the same, with the same art and same soundtrack, so I call these a remaster.

ETA: What I'm playing now, coincidentally, is the recent remake of Chip's Challenge! I'm at level 83 right now. It's a pretty good remake with smooth scrolling and new sound effects and music, but the new music is pretty hokey public domain stuff.
Edited 2015-08-12 16:23 (UTC)
agedly: Pepelogoo with mouth open. (Default)

[personal profile] agedly 2015-08-12 05:06 pm (UTC)(link)

An example that really stands out in my mind as a poor remake is Ocarina of Time 3D. Changes that were made totally shifted the tone of a lot of parts, I think for the worse. Take, for example, the first confrontation with Ganondorf on the bridge. In the original, the camera looks up from Link's perspective as he slowly draws his sword, ready to dutifully fight despite being obviously terrified. My brave little boy! The slow deliberate text crawl of Ganondorf's "Heh heh heh" gives me chills. The remake totally ignores directorial decisions like this - the camera changes focus to Link just, getting out the sword, and a moment later the laugh is over before you even notice it. There are lots of small changes like this. Majora's Mask 3D had the same problem, though to a lesser degree.
tepidsnake: (Default)

[personal profile] tepidsnake 2015-08-15 02:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Hello~! That is an odd change to make, the original is definitely more striking. Is there a list out there of other changes like this made for the 3DS port?

A remake changing the tone like that sort-of reminds me of a bad example of a remake/port, Hello Kitty World, a Famicom version of Balloon Kid for the GB. Among other things (less vertical space, fish no longer eat you), the original Balloon Kid had a mean streak to it- the later levels especially, including the factory, seem like menacing places for a kid to be, and other details like erratic fire effects add to that. Hello Kitty World softens everything so that edge is lost, going with it a lot of charm.
tepidsnake: (Default)

[personal profile] tepidsnake 2015-08-12 06:05 pm (UTC)(link)
I really hope the RE2 remake is in the style of REmake, it would be perfect that way! The first REmake has all the elements of a good remake- the same basic idea but with lots of differences, some specifically put in to catch out those who played the original, and it also improves the game mechanics (adding a 180 turn) while adding new ones that fit in well (destroying zombies to avoid Crimson Heads).
Another example of one I've enjoyed is Fantasy Zone II DX, although I'm not actually that familiar with the original SMS game. II DX works really great as a 'what if' game as it was created using the same hardware as the original game, and so it feels like a more natural sequel to the game that the SMS one.

As for games I've been playing, I've been practicing SVC Chaos: SNK Vs. Capcom for online fighting, SNK's version of the crossover fighting game. It's a pretty strange game (it's got a very muted colour palette, for one) but it's neat to see SNK's spritework for Capcom characters including odd ones like Red Arremer and Tessa (Warzard). It's also the first fighting game appearance of Mars People from Metal Slug.
Also from the arcade, dual-monitor Warrior Blade: Rastan Saga Episode III which is a really great Taito brawler, with some vague Capcom D&D elements- you can get stat-boosting items and there are multiple routes (dependent on skill rather than choices). I need to get the home port on one of those Taito Memories collections!
tepidsnake: (Default)

[personal profile] tepidsnake 2015-08-15 02:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, the Crimson Heads are such a great addition, they really change how you approach zombies, and give you an incentive to either lug around lighters/oil or try and dodge instead of fighting so they don't turn. Honestly one of the scariest parts of the game is the crypt where you fight the first one- something about the camera angles and constantly-clanking machinery down there...

And weirdly, it took me until Taito Legends to play the first Rastan Saga! The platforming is tricky (as is the fighting) but it feels fair and it's got a nice, steady pace to it. The third game is a scrolling brawler instead but has a great aesthetic so I think you'd like it, especially in co-op! You don't have to play Rastan Saga II though, it's not great (made by a totally different team IIRC)
chocomarsh: (Default)

[personal profile] chocomarsh 2015-08-12 07:39 pm (UTC)(link)
One of my favorite types of games are ports of well-regarded games to systems with less powerful hardware. I've always thought that Donkey Kong Country for game boy color was an absolutely fantastic game. The game is significantly shorter, with a well-selected set of re-created levels. My favorite part is the visuals, though; the care spent recreating DKC's particular aesthetic, choosing what to cut and what to emphasize, really shows.

Right now, though, I'm playing a lot of F-Zero X. I only have access to the Wii Virtual Console port, which unfortunately drops a lot of frames. But it's still playable, and 90% of F-Zero X is just selecting the camera angle closest to the track and making airplane noises.

EDIT: I almost forgot! If you have access to a next-gen system, the Castle Of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse remake is *incredible.*
Edited 2015-08-12 19:59 (UTC)
melodyrose: (Default)

[personal profile] melodyrose 2015-08-12 10:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Aw man f-zero X. I spent so much of my childhood on that game. I've always enjoyed F-zero :) GREAT games in general. and yeah you're pretty correct of 90% of the game. I like the cylinder courses a lot. I actually remember playing it in... Sears, I think it was, when they still had game demos. They ripped those out because parents kept ditching their kids there.

Big blue is still an awesome song, by the way.
melodyrose: (Garet Gobbledegook)

[personal profile] melodyrose 2015-08-12 08:56 pm (UTC)(link)
... Aaaand the questions keep coming that keep me talking about the same games over andover. I'm not opposed. But I'm afraid it makes me seem just a little bit one note hahaaha. I promise I'm working on a post about a completely different game. It's sitting on my other computer and being revised 5000 times though.

For me a good remake.. I think it was mentioned by softchassis - A good remake keeps teh heart of the original but adds modern improvements. that is pretty spot on.

What's interesting to me, is the game I want to talk about is both a very GOOD remake, and a very POOR remake, all in one. That would be Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millenium Girl.

How can it be both a good and poor remake? Well let's jump into the nitty gritty. On the good side: It revamps the engine into something very akin to the EO4 engine - there are a great many interface improvements, the mapping tools are MUCH more robust, they've fixed a lot of the balance problems that were inherent in the first game, too. ... I still love the broken mess that is the original first, of course, but I still REALLY enjoy the remake.I know there are some people who would fight me over that. It also gives you the option between the remastered and original soundtrack, something I feel is actually really important. a lot of the music's tone can be changed, by that switch and I can't quite identify why.

on the con side... Most of my issues come from the story mode. and the fact that it gives away a MAJOR plot point regarding a villain literally in the "you started a new game!" FMV. And it spoils at least one detail that's supposed to be something of a "wait WHAT?!" on the 20th floor... it spoiles this somewhere after the fifth floor just by the nature of its story. Besides this, it takes a game where you are well known to be able to build your own party and to a degree... yanks that away. I only JUST discovered you can reclass your party members but they're pretty well written into their roles so it just makes me kinda... feel off? Plus it keeps basically going "NOPE GOTTA EXPLORE THIS SIDE DUNGEON TO GET FURTHER INTO THE LABYRINTH" and it just... it's a whole big mess of wHY DID You MAKE THESE DECISIOnS?! (sorry my shift key on my laptop is less than working.) Then there's Grimoire stones - the single thing that has made me ragequit the game at a few points.

Basically take your 60 item inventory. Then shove it full of a bunch of EXTRA items that you can't sell for money and can't do jack all with until you get back to town. Granted they are useful. My medic can shoot things now. but my point still stands. It's just implemented EXTREMELY poorly and leaves me wondering WHY???

It's still a worthy remake in my mind, though. And in playing through the demo of untold 2? they have learned a LOT from the missteps of the first game. I have to give them credit for that, big time. They learned.

So as I said - it's both a good and a poor remake - I'd probably be happier with it if I was playing classic mode, honestly. But I had to see the story they felt compelled to put in. And it's not a bad story, really. But... just so many things rub me wrong about how it's done.

So yeah. A good remake you have the heart of what made the original good. maybe make it prettier, sound nicer. Fix up the systems to fit more modern standards. Clarify things that you couldn't get across due to text limitations or space limitations. I've seen several cases where a remake includes a retranslated script that hopefully makes clear some things that just came across... wrong. Maybe add some bonus stuff, too. A remake can be a good way to basically restart a continuity, as is being done with the untold games, really. But done poorly, a remake feels like a hyper shady cash grab. i've seen a few of those. None are coming to mind right this moment, though.

as for what i'mm playing at the moment, aside from the usual and final fantasy 5, I've been poking around more with Quarth (a post on that coming eventually) and Wakfu and Sword of the Stars: The Pit. I likes me my dungeon crawlers, after all XD.